Tag Archives: Joy

What Can I Do to Stop Cutting Myself?

I’m sad about your struggle with cutting. This is a painful topic and one that you may have avoided up to this point. It takes a lot of courage to talk about it and you’ve taken an important step in getting help.

Any form of self-injury is dangerous and should be taken seriously. The reasons that motivate cutting are complicated, so it’s important to seek the kind of help that will invite you to take an honest look at yourself and ask the question “What is going on in your heart?” An experienced counselor can help teach you better ways of coping, which is important, but he or she will also help expand your insight into the reasons behind the cutting and give you a safe place to process your deep feelings of shame and self-loathing.

There also can be great comfort in reading the expressions of emotion in the Bible. It’s soothing to know that we’re not alone in our pain; others before us have felt the terror of despair. As one example, Psalm 31:9-13 reads:

“Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends—those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life.”

It’s impossible to overlook the unbelievable anguish in this passage. As someone who cuts, you may have cried out with similar expressions. Memories of past abuse, unwanted thoughts, or feeling out of control with your life may cause you to consider cutting as a release of the pain, misery, and anger you feel inside.

As we continue reading (vs. 1-4), however, the psalmist declares that it’s his trust in God that helps him through this time of horrific misery and he rejects any other way to ultimately save him.

“In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.”

It’s hard to trust God whom we can not see. But in addition to counseling and learning how to express your feelings in a healthy way, I hope you can see that we are better off trusting God than in trusting in anything else. We’ve come up with different ways to deal with our anger and ease the pain of life, but apart from God, our methods are only temporary and don’t give us what our hearts truly need. And what we truly need is to invite God into our pain; we need Him to comfort us and give us strength.

God, in His love for you, sent His son Jesus to set you free. He knows your pain and He wants to heal and strengthen you. As a matter of fact, He came specifically for this purpose; not only to offer you life after death, but life now! He came to help you live through pain instead of trying to escape by self-injury (Isaiah 61:1-3).

I know you’re hurting deeply inside. Pain and disappointment have taken root in your soul. Cutting may seem like the only answer to your overwhelming pain, but the dark side of it is that it keeps you from what your heart longs for. So when you’re compelled to cut yourself, please don’t try and face it alone. The Bible offers you an answer. The battle is hard, and most likely won’t be won over night. But getting wise counsel from a competent therapist, and believing that there is Someone who cares for you who is fully capable of comforting you and setting you free from this prison, can give you the confidence to fight the urge to harm yourself.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

I’m a Christian, So Why Am I Unhappy?

Why am I having such a hard time being happy when, as a follower of Christ, I’ve got so much to be thankful for?

Yes, it’s true that we have so much to be thankful for. After all, God has given us salvation, forgiveness, love, and the promise of future paradise. Still, somewhere deep inside, is a nagging gloom and we wonder if our faith is weak because we aren’t happier with our lives.

But the sorrow is there, not because we’re doing something wrong, but because we live in a broken world; a place where we can’t experience all God has to offer us. It’s a sign to us that we were made for heaven, for eternity with God.

The apostle Paul tells us that we were created for far better things than this world has to offer. He writes:

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:22-23).

And then again, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:2-6:

“Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.”

Sometimes the yearning for God is too deep for words. We struggle to be happy, but we know that this place is contaminated with a sense of brokenness and futility. Working harder, doing better, serving longer, won’t take the edge off our sorrow. It lingers. And it won’t go away until the day our redemption is complete. Even our highest accomplishments feel pointless after awhile. (Ecclesiastes 1:1-9). Nothing lasts here and nothing fully satisfies us.

The result of being claimed by God, but not yet living with Him, is sorrow. But not sorrow alone. It’s also mixed with anticipation. We eagerly anticipate being with our heavenly Father. We are cut off from our heavenly Father; not in a spiritual sense, but in the sense that, now, we can’t experience the total joy of living in His presence today. We’re adopted, but not yet living with our Abba Father. It’s like an abandoned child who’s been adopted but is still living in an orphanage, eagerly waiting for her new parents to embrace her and take her home. She lives with a yearning, a longing to be with her family. And so do we. We may not always be fully aware of how deeply we long for this, but we too anticipate being with our Father. The Holy Spirit comforts us, but until we’re fully redeemed, we live with an inner hunger that’s not completely satisfied.

For now, because of the discrepancy between God’s claim on us and living in a broken world, we’re frustrated, feeling out of sorts. This frustration, though, shouldn’t alarm us. It’s a sign of good things to come. When we realize that it’s natural to feel sad and dissatisfied and that we won’t be happy all the time, we can allow our groaning to be a sign of hope for great things to come, and we can allow it to draw us closer to our Lord. When we feel the groan of our soul, we can find comfort knowing that we will someday see our Lord and Savior face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12).

It’s the person who is oblivious to this alienation in nature and within us, this endless cycle of decay, who is in greater danger than the one who’s painfully aware of this separation from God. The unaware person sees this frustration as grounds for despair and he may live his life trying to quiet his groaning through sex, relationships, money, work, or any kind of pleasure. But he finds that there is nothing here on this earth that can reach down far enough into his soul and fulfill him. At that point he has a choice—to recognize his longing as a sign of better things to come, or deny the groaning in his heart and continue his futile effort to have paradise now.

It’s natural to feel unhappy from time to time. But this is good news, because this burden or groaning fuels our hope and lets us know that God intends to make everything right. It reminds us that nothing material in this world can satisfy us. God Himself satisfies us (Psalm 90:14; 103:2-5; 107:9). Given that fact, Christians can use their longings to draw them closer to God and further away from the flesh. God will free us from the slavery of corruption and completely restore us.

Let’s not stress over the pangs of loneliness and sadness when they invade our hearts, but let us have joy because we know that far better things are in store for us. Through the sufferings of this world, we become more like God’s son, Jesus (James 1:1-4).

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (159 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...